How are Child Custody Decisions Made in New Jersey?

Divorce has the power to impact an entire family. When the family has children, they often worry about the outcome of their future. During this time, it is important to help children settle into their new life. To do this, parents must determine custody arrangements for them. While some couples are able to work together to reach these decisions, others may need the help of the court to do so for them. There are different custody arrangements for parents to consider in the state of New Jersey.

Types of Custody

Every custody arrangement covers a different part of a child’s life. While they are different, neither custody is more important than the other. The agreement that spouses may reach can vary depending on their family circumstances and what is best for their child. Each custody arrangement offers different circumstances and covers separate aspects of a child’s life. The types of custody agreements in New Jersey are as follows:

  • Physical Custody: This establishes who the child lives and spends most of their time with. This parent is the main guardian or primary caretaker. 
  • Joint Custody: It is a best-case scenario for parents to be able to work together for their child. Joint custody divides parents’ time with their child so that they can both be involved in their life.
  • Legal Custody: Even if a parent does not obtain physical custody of their child, it is important to fight for legal custody. This allows a parent to have an influence on the child’s life. With this, the parent can participate in making decisions regarding the child’s upbringing. This can include healthcare, education, religion, etc.

Determining Custody

New Jersey courts are required by law to make custody decisions that are in the best interest of the child. This makes sure that the child is placed in a safe, happy, and healthy home to grow up in. When a judge makes a decision regarding custody, they consider several other factors relating to the child and the parents. This can include:

  • The relationship between the child and each parent
  • If the parent will act in the child’s best interest
  • The stability each parent can provide the child
  • Whether or not the parents are willing to accept custody
  • What the child needs
  • The child’s safety
  • History of abuse
  • Both parents’ fitness
  • The geographical proximity of both parents’ homes
  • The preference of the child if they are of sufficient age

Contact our Firm

If you require strong legal representation for matters related to divorce or family law, Haber Silver & Simpson is here to help. We proudly represent clients in Morris County and throughout the state of New Jersey. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.